The Evolution of Man

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The Evolution of man

Describe the evolution of man

Georgina Taylor

10/10/2012

Word count: 1141

The Evolution of Man

The greatest mysteries of science, a subject which intrigues us all is how exactly the human species evolved. Evolution is the sequential process of change over periods of time which shape and establish the formation of modern man. Evolution is a term derived from the Latin word ‘unrolling’ and applied to the doctrine that all living organisms have arisen through the modification of other earlier organisms. It is generally believed that we were separated from apes approximately 6-8 million years ago. Evidence provided by the fossil remains of early hominids from the period 3-4.5 million years ago were recovered in East Africa in the mid 1970's. Other biochemical evidence, demonstrates a very close genetic relationship between human beings and the living African apes, particularly the chimpanzee (99% matching genetic makeup). The relationship is apparent at a cellular level, sequences of DNA, and similarities in proteins. It is believed that our ancestors and those of the gorilla and chimpanzee had a common line for several million years after they were separated from what is believed to be our earliest ancestor - the orang-utan (Birkett 1982). The earliest known hominid remains dated around 4.4 million years, and was discovered in Ethiopia in 1992. They belong to a species called Australopithecus ramidus (5-4 million years BCE). In Handar Valley Ethiopia, a slightly more advanced creature was detected. The material discovered was three million years old including 'Lucy' a bipedal hominid whose skeleton was found 40% complete. The remains show a picture of a small, slender but strong hominid, whose pelvis and lower limb bones were no larger than those of apes, the teeth still retained signs of ape ancestry. Lucy had similar teeth to modern Homo...
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